This book delineates the state of the art of the diagnosis and treatment of J wave syndromes, as well as where future research needs to be directed. It covers basic science, translational and clinical aspects of these syndromes. The authors are leading experts in their respective fields, who have contributed prominently to the literature concerning these topics.
J wave syndromes are one of the hottest topics in cardiology today. Cardiac arrhythmias associated with Brugada syndrome (BrS) or an early repolarization (ER) pattern in the inferior or infero-lateral ECG leads are thought to be mechanistically linked to accentuation of transient outward current (Ito)-mediated J waves. Although BrS and ER syndrome (ERS) differ with respect to magnitude and lead location of abnormal J waves, they are thought to represent a continuous spectrum of phenotypic expression termed J wave syndromes. ERS is divided into three subtypes with the most severe, Type 3, displaying an ER pattern globally in the inferior, lateral and right precordial leads. BrS has been linked to mutations in 19 different genes, whereas ERS has been associated with mutations in 7 different genes.
There is a great deal of confusion as to how to properly diagnose and treat the J wave syndromes as well as confusion about the underlying mechanisms. The demonstration of successful epicardial ablation of BrS has provided new therapeutic options for the management of this syndrome for which treatment alternatives are currently very limited, particularly in the case of electrical storms caused by otherwise uncontrollable recurrent VT/VF. An early repolarization pattern is observed in 2-5% of the US population. While it is clear that the vast majority of individuals exhibiting an ER pattern are not at risk for sudden cardiac death, the challenge moving forward is to identify those individuals who truly are at risk and to design safe and effective treatments.